After three years slinging records, cassettes, books and more out of West of Venus Vintage, Mistake by the Lake Records will celebrate its grand reopening Nov. 13 with a dedicated brick-and-mortar storefront on the corner of West 65th Street and Lorain Avenue.
According to owner Andrew Kirschner, a mix of growth and necessity spurred the move. The store’s former home recently changed ownership, but MBTL reached the limits of the space long before staying was no longer an option.
The new location boasts event opportunities previously impossible at West of Venus Vintage.
“We have a full-scale basement and we plan on doing a lot of community-based events,” Kirschner says. “They’ll probably just be free to attend: ‘How to make your own bread’ or ‘Intro to sewing’ or swap meets or something like that. Just things that we can energize the people that are in our communities to go do these things themselves and not have to rely on anyone else.”
Upstairs, patrons might find anything from Taylor Swift’s Midnights to the obscure merch-table pressings the owner stumbles upon at underground shows. Major international releases are a must-have within any record store, but Kirschner enjoys stocking his shelves with hard-to-find, small-time gems.
“I tried to really focus on local,” Kirschner says. “Any touring band that comes through I always try to pick up their merch, too, so we have a constant flow of brand new music coming in.”
Mistake by the Lake Records truly began 20 years ago, although solely as a label. Kirschner decided to help facilitate the releases of up-and-coming artists who might not know where to start. In true D.I.Y. spirit, he puts things together — communicating with the band and artwork creators, finding a company that can press the vinyl or make cassettes, coordinating distribution — in an old-school, grassroots fashion.
The biggest point of all: Show the little guys how they can have physical releases, too.
Recently, the company dropped a new demo from Cleveland’s own Bleeder. A record from John Olson of Wolf Eyes is underway.
At the grand reopening, look forward to DJ sets from El Ray, Kat Cade, Hamaradio and a selection of rare records from the owner’s private collection. More than anything, Kirschner looks forward to growing the MBTL family and bolstering the D.I.Y. mentality of The Land.
“Finding bands and artists that you're really inspired by — that's why I started a record label,” Kirschner says. “I was just like, ‘Oh, I want to put out more things. This needs to be out, more people need to hear this.’ And we did that. It's really cool to see people that had started independently get to where they are now. Anyone can do it.”
6502 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, 440-317-0317, mbtlrecords.com